Tea-Smoked Chicken In Lettuce Cups

The smoky meat is complemented by the soy chili sauce, refreshing cucumber slices, and crisp lettuce.

January-February 2012 | By Mira Angeles
Tea-Smoked Chicken In Lettuce Cups
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Date Published

January-February 2012

Instead of the usual deep-frying or sautéing, why not try smoking your meat? Smoking chicken breast gives it a bold, robust flavor while keeping it moist and juicy. The smoky meat is perfectly complemented by the soy chili sauce, refreshing cucumber slices, and crisp lettuce leaves.

Serves 6 to 8 
Prep Time
30 minutes 
Cooking Time
15 minutes

1 teaspoon five-spice powder
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons salt
1/2 kilo chicken breast fillet, skin on
1 packet oolong tea
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup uncooked white rice

For the soy-ginger sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon minced ginger
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons Thai sweet chili sauce
1 cucumber, seeded and cubed
1/2 head iceberg lettuce
bottled Thai sweet chili sauce for drizzling

1  In a bowl, combine five-spice powder, ground black pepper, and salt. Rub mixture all over chicken breast fillets. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and marinate overnight.

Line the bottom of a skillet or wok with aluminum foil. Mix tea, brown sugar, and rice; spread in an even layer on the foil. Set a steamer with a rack on top and place chicken on the rack.

3  Cover and cook over high heat. Smoke the chicken until brown and cooked through,
approximately 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the soy-ginger sauce: In a small bowl, combine all ingredients and whisk
until sugar dissolves. Set aside.

Dice chicken into small cubes. Toss with cucumber in a bowl. Cut lettuce into small cups. Fill each lettuce cup with diced chicken and cucumber, then drizzle with soy–ginger sauce. Place a few drops of Asian chili sauce on top before serving.

Crunchy tip: You can add coarsely chopped peanuts to add crunch to the dish.

RELATED recipes: Tea-braised Pork Belly, Lettuce Cups, Chicken with Baby Corn in Lettuce Wrap, Chicken and Lettuce Wraps


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